Joint administrators confirm further Wilko store closures
Joint administrators from PwC have announced the planned closure of all 400 Wilko stores by October, resulting in around 12,500 staff losing their jobs.
The Scottish locations affected by this are Falkirk, Fort Kinnaird, and Greenock, with the Falkirk store to close on 19 September and the Fort Kinnaird and Greenock stores to close on 21 September.
The company, which fell into administration last month, was unable to recover from financial losses and intense competition.
Since their appointment on 10 August, the joint administrators have explored all potential opportunities to save the business. They have worked closely with Wilko, its employees and suppliers, to fully understand the structure, implications and viability of a number of offers received for all or parts of the group.
However, despite extensive efforts, it has become clear that no significant part of the wilko operations can be rescued as a going concern. As a result, the joint administrators have today informed all staff that they will sadly commence the closure of all wilko stores, the two distribution centres and the cessation of the majority of activities of the Support Centre. It is anticipated that all stores will be closed by early October, resulting in the redundancies of a further 9,100 employees in those stores.
Billionaire Doug Putman, owner of HMV, had been in negotiations to acquire at least 100 Wilko locations. However, the deal ultimately collapsed due to escalating costs. On Monday, administrators from PwC announced that “despite extensive efforts”, no significant aspect of Wilko’s operations could be saved.
Zelf Hussain, joint administrator, said: “Despite the significant and intensive efforts of both ourselves and Putman Investments - the remaining party interested in buying a significant part of the business as a going concern – a transaction could not be progressed due to the inability to reduce central infrastructure costs quickly enough to make a deal commercially viable.
“The dedication shown by all team members during this period has been hugely humbling and we are grateful for the patience and understanding they have shown. As with those who have already been given notice of redundancy, we will guide and support those team members impacted over the coming weeks through the redundancy claims process.
“We also continue to collaborate closely with relevant agencies and engage with any potential employers to help facilitate a quick return into new employment for those impacted.
“We continue to work with potential buyers for different parts of the business and are confident of completing transactions in the coming days.”
B&M has agreed to purchase 51 of Wilko’s properties for £13 million, although the brand itself has not been acquired. Poundland is believed to be considering the acquisition of up to 70 Wilko stores, with the intention of rebranding them to enhance its own portfolio, Daily Business reports.